One of the few countries yet to have a presence at Biennale Arte, Uzbekistan has brought artists, musicians, videographers, architects and designers to Venice‘s 59th edition for its first presentation, titled Dixit Algorizmi: The Garden of Knowledge.
The show explores the ancient origins of some of the digital achievements we rely on today. It specifically examines modern-day digital algorithms that find their origins in the seminal work of ninth-century Uzbek mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwārizmī, considered the father of algebra.
Curated by Sheida Ghomashchi with Joseph Grima, Camilo Oliveira, Sofia Pia Belenky and Francesco Lupia of architectural and research studio Space Caviar, the exhibition carries on from last year’s premiere at the Center for Contemporary Art in Tashkent. It can now be viewed at Quarta Tesa in the Arsenale.
The moody, atmospheric space incorporating plant life designed by German floral designer Studio Mary Lennox spins the traditional gathering space into a so-called “garden of knowledge” layered with different levels, sounds and heritage brick. As such the curators have invited artists and thinkers from Central Asia and Europe to debate, perform and lecture throughout the Biennale. Stepped mirrored surfaces pay homage to the House of Wisdom where al-Khwarizmi studied.
An interactive sound installation by Uzbek musician Abror Zufarov and Paris-Tokyo composer Charli Tapp will run throughout, inspired by al-Khwārizmī and the old Uzbek genre Shashmaqom.